Suaahara, five-year (2011–2016) USAID funded Project, is a comprehensive household based approach, with the objective of improving health and nutritional status of thousand days’ mothers and children, to improve access and consumption of nutritious foods in areas with very poor nutrition indicators which are vulnerable to disorders such as stunting, underweight etc. It aimed at improving the nutritional status of women and children under two years of age by improving household health and nutrition behaviors; increasing the use of quality health and nutrition services by women and children; increasing consumption of diverse and nutritious food by women and children; and strengthening coordination on nutrition between the government and other stakeholders. Suaahara’s strategy evolved from the Nepal Nutrition Assessment and Gap Analysis andthe Government of Nepal’s second national Health Sector Program (2010–2015). Integration of various sectors–agriculture, health and sanitation, education–to achieve improved nutritional status of vulnerable population distinguish Suaahara from other project. It is implemented in twenty different districts–nine intensive homestead food production (HFP) production intervention–of Nepal; Rasuwa being one out of nine.
Poultry raising and production in household level is very important for improving nutritional status of family as it can be easily raised with low production cost, labor and investment. Egg is good source of animal protein and considered as almost complete food. Besides, abundant availability of various nutrient as well as vitamin A has increased its importance to bring nutrient and food security in household and community level. Researches have shown egg consumption by pregnant women and children less than two years of age enhances mental and physical growth and development of child. Suaahara and Nepal Government is promoting egg and poultry production as well as consumption of fresh and healthy egg because it is cheap and easiest means bring food and nutrient security in individual, household, community and national level.
Suaahara is promoting semi-intensive coop for poultry management in various twenty-five Suaahara program implementing districts. Construction of semi-intensive coop in community is being increasing after training and orientation from agriculture technician of Suaahara, District Livestock Service and Livestock Service Centers.
Coop construction has been increased after orientation about the importance of coop in poultry farming. Earlier community people used to keep poultry inside Doko or practice open farming. But after orientation some of the beneficiaries started to construct semi-intensive coop. It has not only helped beneficiaries to reduce diseases of poultry but also, improved sanitation status of their houses and surroundings. Now, more semi-intensive coops have been constructed whereas some has started to construct. However simple coop (Simple house for keeping poultry safe from wind, water and wild animals) can be abundantly found in the community. “Semi-intensive coop not only has reduced losses of poultry from wild animals and thieves but also help to maintain good sanitation around the houses. Mothers who refused earlier to construct coop have now started to construct by realizing that it reduces diseases of poultry as well as human.”, says one of the beneficiaries, Kush Kumari Neupane, of Laharepauwa VDC.”